Bilbao Chess Masters: Carlsen-Anand 1-0

World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen beat current world champion Viswanathan Anand in the ninth round of the Bilbao Chess Masters Final on Friday. Carlsen went for a pawn sac for which compensation was evident in the long-term. (Full report on Chess Blog.) In the position on the left, Black resigns after 30.a4. Can you understand why? Here is the game with the Chess King applet:

Carlsen, Magnus (2843) – Anand, Viswanathan (2780)

Result: 1-0
Site: Sao Paulo/Bilbao BRA/ESP
Date: 2012.10.12

[…] 1.e4 c5 2.¤f3 d6 3.¥b5+ ¥d7 4.¥xd7+ £xd7 5.c4 ¤f6 6.¤c3 g6 7.d4 cxd4 8.¤xd4 ¥g7 9.f3 £c7 10.b3 £a5 11.¥b2 ¤c6 12.O-O O-O 13.¤ce2 ¦fd8 14.¥c3 £b6 15.¢h1 d5 16.¤xc6 bxc6 17.£e1 ¦dc8 18.e5 ¤e8 19.e6 fxe6 20.¤f4 ¥xc3 21.£xc3 d4 22.£d2 c5 23.¦ae1 ¤g7 24.g4 ¦c6 25.¤h3 ¤e8 26.£h6 ¤f6 27.¤g5 d3 28.¦e5 ¢h8 29.¦d1 £a6 30.a4

Black has to resign because there are way too many problems to handle. To begin with, the back rank is weak. Protecting the d-pawn is really not possible for Black on the d-file with the consistent threat of Nf7 forking it. White has a clear strategy – if nothing else – to double the Rooks after Rxd3 – on the e-file and go shooting down the e-file by first grabbing that jammed e6 pawn! Black has options like Qc8, Rb8 or d2, but all fail to save Black!

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